KT Davies is a British Fantasy Award nominated author who happens to be based in the Midlands. Their series The Chronicles of Breed has gained lots of critical acclaim and has a cult following. The final book in the series, Something Wicked, has just been released. STARBURST: How would you describe The Chronicles of Breed to new readers?
STARBURST: How would you describe The Chronicles of Breed to new readers?
KT Davies: As funny as Deadpool and as epic as Game of Thrones. It’s a baroque n’ roll adventure. It gud, much fight. I also like how one review described it as ‘the fantasy version of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’.
What’s the latest book about?
Being old, dealing with loss and responsibility. Also, dragons.
How would you pitch it to a beloved elderly relative?
Book? What book? Oh, that book. I swear I never heard of it before you and the church book group happened upon it, honest. Same name? a pure coincidence, Grannie. Davies is a very common name. Yes, I agree, that other KT Davies is a reprobate. No Gran, they’re not right in the head, you’re absolutely right about that. Now, how about another Werther’s Original and a cup of tea?
Some of the details about the protagonist are pretty ambiguous throughout. Why?
Why not? In truth, I was vague on purpose, partly to see what readers made of the ambiguities (if anything), and partly to see if I could write an entire novel being unspecific about ‘things’. Turns out I could write three novels being vague (hurrah for vagueness!). Also, quite a lot of readers haven’t even noticed the odd missing detail, which says as much about how people read as how people (me at least) write, which is something I find fascinating and could bone on about for ages, but nobody got time for that.
What’s it about rogues that appeals to readers?
Sexeh leather togs? Or maybe it’s that most of us are chickenshits, I know I am. I once accidentally stole a D20 from a games shop. It’s a dull tale, so I’ll spare you the details but in short, I was mortified and felt like a fugitive for days.
People like rogues because they act as surrogates and playact in the safety of our imagination. They practice the behaviours we think might be fun: steal a diamond necklace, hold-up a stagecoach, and generally thumb their noses at authority. But of course, we know these acts ultimately lead to censure and disgrace within the confines of our civil society. So, we live out our darker, more anarchic fantasies in safety through the actions of these types of characters. Characters that if you encountered them in real life you would most likely cross the street to avoid. They take the risks and let off our metaphoric steam so that we don’t go to real jail - in my opinion. That’s the short answer but I swear, after a few pints it gets much more convoluted and intricate, full of big words and philosophical quotes.
Breed seems pretty angry most of the time. Why do you torture your characters so?
Torture is such a harsh word; I prefer ‘test’. It’s a fair point that during this story Breed is quite miffed. I assure you, before the story began Breed was entirely sanguine and just got on with being a thug, all nice and quiet like. Alas, drama is conflict. We meet Breed when Breed is having a really bad run of luck.
If you weren’t writing, what else would you be doing?
Cooking meth. I hear there’s good money to be made. Or making theatrical props which was the main day job before I started writing in earnest. I also work in the family engineering firm.
How have you found the journey into print? What would you do differently?
Depressing, infuriating, frustrating, all the things ending in -ing. What would I do differently? Many things. I wouldn’t second guess myself, I wouldn’t take things so personally, and I wouldn’t waste as much time as I’ve wasted. To coin a phrase, I’d get on the pot and start pissing straight away.
Why fantasy? Has fantasy made a comeback?
Fantasy is my first love. Like a baby goose I imprinted on the first genre I read, which was fantasy. It is the language of myth, of us. I write about life, things that interest me, and much like the renowned interviewer Philomena Cunk, I ponder things like, ‘why is spaghetti?’. Much like mother’s milk, fantasy provides all the metaphors a growing smart-arse could wish for. I don’t think fantasy has ever gone away.
Where’s the best place to start with your work?
The beginning! I have a couple of short story/novellas on my website http://kdavies.net that will give people a taste of what the Chronicles of Breed are about and indeed, gauge their tolerance for bad language. Or they can dive right in and buy Dangerous to Know here http://kdavies.net/adtk . It’s also available as an audio book on most platforms.
What’s next for you?
Breed’s story might have come to an end, for now, but there are a couple of other characters in Dangerous to Know who had unfinished business of their own.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in the Midlands, I have a couple of kids, four dogs, a cat, and an understanding partner. I play with swords, axes, and throwing knives - no log is safe! I occasionally LARP and when the weather is inclement I also play MMORPGs.Chronicles of Breed can be purchased directly from kdavies.net, as well as other places where you can obtain good books.